Panic Driven Telstra Management Pushes Ahead With LSL Changes

As you may be aware by now, Telstra has announced its previously flagged intentions to push ahead with their extremely controversial Long Service Leave changes.

The actions of the out of control bean counters currently running of this once-great national icon is shameful. That they have the gall to carry out such a bold and unpopular change to long-standing employee conditions, rather than taking it to the bargaining table as part of the EA discussions that are set to commence in less than a week, is a testament to Telstra’s current inability to successfully run the company, and their total contempt for the long serving workforce.

Telstra has caused this problem all for themselves. Running with less than minimal permanent staffing, and regularly slashing their workforce to the bone whenever the share price “dips”, management monetary inducements from their so called KPI’s have generated a situation where staff can’t even take their Annual Leave when they wish to. How do they honestly think this is going to work on the ground? The heady and panicked atmosphere at 242 Exhibition St must be leading to these irrational initiatives. This isn’t a financial sector employer, it’s an essential public service that needs to be run correctly on the ground, not in the offices of the upper level executives.

So now, you’re the ones being asked to take the hit for the supposed fix to the share price.

The complete deterioration of the network, unfettered outsourcing of your jobs, the pyramid (sham) contractor schemes used to perform what should be your work on their NBN contracts, outage after outage after outage affecting individual customers at home, implementation of “automation” initiatives that just don’t work, businesses frustrated at trying to just basically communicate with their customers and receive payments online and the safety of the community who deserve access to a reliable E000 service — this is modern-day Telstra, where executive pay packets are all that matters.

Even the shareholders have had a gut-full of having their dividends slashed as profits drop due to customers leaving, what used to be the premium telco offering a premium service, in droves.

So, it’s off to court, we go.
Your Union, in conjunction with the CPSU and Professionals Australia, along with our legal representatives are now preparing our application to the Federal Court, challenging this latest penny pinching exercise by a small number of unprincipled Telstra executives against their workforce. This is madness.

Time to step up
But in the meantime, it’s now time for members to step up and have their voices heard loud and clear. Email your team leaders and managers — let them know that you’ve had a gut-full too.

Foretaste of the EBA?
We think this is the type of attitude that will pervade the upcoming EBA talks. Given the panic that must now exist at the top end of Telstra concerning the share price (with widely reported concerns in the media) the hard-nosed attitude of the Telstra Management (driven by right wing legal ideological strategies that we’ve seen before in the 2008/09 EBA) will clearly be present. We see the LSL “initiative” as evidence of a difficult EBA negotiation. We hope this is not the case, but the warning signs are there.

Join the Union
Importantly, ask every one of your colleagues who are not yet CEPU members to join the CEPU today. Our strength is in our numbers and a strong CEPU is how we will put members in the best possible position to not only protect your hard-won conditions, but fight to advance them in this round of EA bargaining. Please circulate this bulletin very very widely, and stay strong.

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